Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

reduce subsidies to fossil fuel industry « Previous | |Next »
March 10, 2011

Michael Jacobs in Taking stock on climate at Inside Story says that debate about climate change rests on three pillars of evidence.

On one corner is the science – the evidence on whether human-caused warming is taking place, and the effects it will have. On another are the emissions – how big they are now, and what their future trajectory will be given the targets countries have set. And on the third is the investment – the evidence of what is actually happening on the ground to cause emissions to grow or decline.

He says that most of the new evidence produced over the last two years suggests that the risks may be greater than previously thought and that we are entering the phrase of positive feedback” which occurs when warming has effects that, in turn, speed up the warming process.

MoirAPeople's Revolt.jpg

With respect to the second pillar, the current level of global greenhouse gas emissions, though carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in developed countries have plummeted as a result of the recession, overall global energy emissions were more or less the same in 2009 as in 2008. This was due to undiminished growth in emissions from China and India.

There is still a gap between the emissions gap between the 2 degrees goal to which countries have signed up, and the pledges they have actually made.

However, and this is the third pillar, there is evidence of changing patterns of energy investment such as to make governments’ 2020 promises believable. Since 2008, more has been invested globally in renewable capacity than in fossil fuels and this is right across the renewable technologies---solar panels and other “distributed” renewables, wind power and the new technologies of smart grids, energy storage and electric cars. Unfortunately most of this new investment occurred in China.

In Australia, of course, the fossil fuel industry and its friends is trying to block reform and there is little attempt by the Gillard Government to reduce the tax incentives and subsidies to the fossil fuel industry worth around $12.2 billion. Australia just keeps on putting off the inevitable transformation to a low carbon economy.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 6:58 AM | | Comments (8)


The Big Pollutters lobby group--the misnamed Australian Industry Greenhouse Network, which represents more than 20 major employers comprising 90 per cent of emissions in mining, manufacturing and energy transformation----has signalled that the polluters, miners and trade exposed industries would push for more generous compensation than that offered in Rudd's carbon pollution reduction scheme.

If the Gillard Government is committed to a July 1, 2012 starting date, then the debate is going to be around compensation.

re "the Gillard Government is committed to a July 1, 2012 starting date, then the debate is going to be around compensation".

Gillard will have to fight the Greens to exclude petrol and ensure generous compensation to the rent seeking Big Polluters. No doubt the coal industry will continue to fund the coal industry's funding of climate sceptic scientists and to fight the increased regulation of greenhouse gas pollution. The business-as-usual way of doing things must stay.

No doubt Treasury will remain hostile to the idea of a feed-in-tariff for solar energy. They are out to dump the 20 per cent renewable energy target.

The old delusion – that politicians could fix any problem – has long faded. We know they can't do everything.

But we do expect a basic level of competence. Has the Gillard Government a competence problem?

It's always amazed me how politicians and commentators can rabbit on about carbon taxes and cap-and-trade without ever thinking about the existing structure of subsidies.

Thanks for The Age link.

maybe the Gillard Government is playing Labor's usual game of promises for the sake of form, as opposed to actually dealing up some content?

re: "If the Gillard Government is committed to a July 1, 2012 starting date, then the debate is going to be around compensation."

Maybe Labor's strategy is to play hard early, and then soften after "consultation"?

With a greener Senate to come in July Labor really has no option. The conflict is going to be over the bribes, which will be huge from labor. The Greens will resist Labor's bribes to Big Business.

I agree, reduce subsidies to fossil fuel industry and then reduce subsidies to the green tech industry while your at it.

I agree, subsidies to fossil fuel industry is actually a very inefficient use of taxpayer's money